It’s not a luxury—a proper bike fit can help any cyclist ride stronger, more comfortably, and more often
Getting a bike fit can feel like an expensive indulgence reserved for pro cyclists. But it isn’t really—good bike fit is just as important an investment as the bike itself, and can not only increase your comfort on the bike, but make you faster and stronger without a single interval or endurance ride. If your bike isn’t fit properly, you’re sacrificing watts, increasing your chance of saddle sores, and just not having as much fun on the bike as you could be having.
“Fits are for everyone, especially new riders,” says Kyle Russ. The two primary advantages of a properly fitting bike are an increase in comfort and an increase in power. If your bike isn’t fit properly, for example, Russ says that your glutes may not be firing, so you’re missing out on a ton of power that’s already there. Consider this: you could spend thousands buying a bike that’s a pound lighter than what you’re riding now in order to shave seconds off of your time up a hill. But a bike fit—typically not much more than a couple hundred dollars—can gain you huge wattage increases without any extra work on your part. From a performance standpoint, the investment of a bike fit versus any other investment in bike gear is the wisest choice you could make.
As far as an increase in comfort is concerned, Russ laments the amount of riders he meets who struggle with saddle sores, numbness in their hands or feet, or back problems. “A lot of people stop riding because they’re uncomfortable,” he says, “And when you’re more novice and aren’t immersed in cycling, you wouldn’t even consider a fit. People think it’s for an elite athlete, but it’s a comfort and enjoyment thing.” Most of these issues are fixable with some minor changes to fit, he says, and cyclists shouldn’t need to struggle to ride comfortably.